Seven Weird Things You’re Likely To Find When Moving Out Froom Your London Home (And Where You’ll Find Them)
Moving Out Is/Not Fun
Ah, moving house! The time when you have to go into all the old cupboards and places that you don’t really go into and discover things that you haven’t touched for years. It happens to everybody, even the most minimalist among us. We tend to collect clutter and memorabilia like dragons collect gold (I am sure raiding as many London car boot sales as I can is some kind of a condition) – and we can be just as grumpy as dragons when it comes to parting with any of it, Marie Kondo et al. notwithstanding.
When the time comes to move out of your old London home, you tend to be confronted with your cluttery tendencies. There are certain items that you will probably find during the process of packing all your gear up and cleaning out those obscure cupboards and other spots (you’d better hope you find them or they’ll be there to amuse the professional end of tenancy cleaning team later – if you’re doing the moving out cleaning the easy way).
#1: Children’s Drawings
Tucked away in a cupboard or into a drawer, or maybe pinned onto a board somewhere, you’ll come across one of those cheerful wonky drawings with stick arms that seem to be all head. It was charming and made you smile when you got it but now… you’ve got no idea which of your children drew it or when they drew it or why they drew it. It may make you feel like a hard-hearted old monster, but it’s probably best to quietly dispose of it.
Of course, if you know who drew it and why, or if it makes you smile every time, then definitely treasure it. I, for one, will never throw out a certain Get Well Soon card my daughter made me when she was seven that makes me laugh every time. (I’m not giving you any more details – that’s a family secret.)
#2: Odd Socks
Do you know all those odd socks that you’ve accumulated over the years? The chances are that you will finally discover them when you move out. Some of them will be in the laundry, often behind the washing machine from where careless laundry maids and laundry-lads have tossed them while aiming at the innards of the machine. Others will be under beds, trapped between mattresses and the wall or fallen down the back of an overstuffed set of drawers.
If you are lucky, you will have the mates to the long-lost socks patiently waiting. If you are not, then you will have thrown out the other half a long time ago. There is also a good chance that if you do have odd socks waiting for their other half of the pair, the mate will not turn up while you’re cleaning up ready to move. This leaves you believing in the late Sir Terry Pratchett’s sock-eating monster or Stephen Hawking’s untested hypothesis that the high spinning speed of washers and dryers creates miniature black holes that swallow socks.
Put any unmatched socks to good use as dusters and cleaning rags if you’re doing your own end of tenancy cleaning rather than calling for professional help.
#3 Unused Kitchen Implements
Do you know that cheese knife that originally belonged to your grandmother, the handles for the Popsicle maker set, the 1/3 cup measure and the meat thermometer that you haven’t seen for ages and you swear that you’ve hunted for a dozen times? You will finally find them at the bottom of the kitchen implement drawer now.
Yes, I know you looked for them when the drawer was full but you were probably trying to avoid slicing your thumb on the potato peeler or stabbing yourself on the skewer, so you missed them. If you’d emptied out the entire drawer to hunt for them and gone through everything, you’d have found them earlier. But when does anybody go to all that sort of palaver? That’s right – when moving out.
#4 Dead Pens
Forget the Dead Poets’ Society. When you move house – or move office, for that matter – you are likely to discover the Dead Pens’ Society. Sometimes, the ballpoint pens with dried ink and snapped clicking mechanisms will be all in one place, such as in a drawer or even in a caddy. Others will be in obscure places – behind the landline telephone that has been quietly collecting dust (apart from when you get rung by cold callers and phone scammers – at least these are the only people who ever call my landline), in the kitchen drawer, behind the fridge, in the laundry after being rescued from pockets, and so forth.
Test each of the pens out – preferably to write the contents of a box on the outside up or the words “FRAGILE – WITH CARE” on the one with the crockery. If they don’t write, ditch them. The same applies to other writing implements (permanent pens, whiteboard markers, etc.) that you discover in odd places.
#5 Broken Appliances
You were sure that you could fix it one of these days and that you were going to get around to it eventually because it only needed one little spare part that you’re certain you can get at the hardware store if you remember to pick it up and… Well, it’s been sitting at the back of the wardrobe or the cupboard under the stairs or in the attic or at the back of the garage and you never did get around to it. Time to face facts and give the thing the chuck.
The best thing you can hope for when discovering a forgotten mousetrap in the laundry, in the pantry or in the garage is that it has snapped shut and not caught anything. If you are unlucky, it will have snapped shut and caught something. So that’s where the horrible smell was coming from all this time. Remove the shrivelled and quasi-mummified carcass, or the hideous disgusting one (the mummified one is the easiest), try not to vomit and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards, then disinfect the area where you found the mousetrap.
If you’re very unlucky, the mousetrap will still be active and will snap shut on your fingers as you reach into the depths of wherever you’d forgotten you’d put it. I hope you haven’t already packed the ice pack and the first aid kit.
#7 Outgrown Outfits
This is one item that you won’t discover quite as often if you’ve been diligent. However, most of us will find one or two items that somebody in the household doesn’t fit anymore. It could be as simple as outgrown children’s clothes that were being stored in a bag or a suitcase in case you had another child or to give to that cousin or friend, or the second-hand store one day. It can be more gut-wrenching to discover items that you’ve got too plump for thrust to the back of the wardrobe. However, finding items that once fitted you but are now too big because you’ve stuck to that diet and exercise plan is a bit more encouraging.
What you do with those items now is simple: send the lot down to the charity store. This is obvious in the case of old children’s clothes that are in good condition. If they’re in bad condition, use them as cleaning rags, because you will need a lot if you’re doing your own moving out cleaning.
Do not keep items that you don’t fit just in case. If they’re too small for you, they’ll just bring you down every time you look at them. Don’t give them space in your new home. If they’re too big and you’re keeping them just in case, what sort of thinking is that? Are you planning on getting chubby again? Out, out, out!